After two incidents in a month in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, animal advocates are warning people to make sure they don’t have any stowaways before starting their vehicle engines.
Workers at the Kerry Park Arena stepped in to help a young cat spotted crawling into the engine of an arena bus a few weeks ago.
Jean Hamilton, a trustee/manager at Cowichan Cat Rescue, said maintenance workers from the arena managed to get the cat, which is approximately four to five months old, out of the engine, made a bed for her and began feeding her to gain her trust.
Hamilton said the cat was friendly and clean when found, but had no collar, tattoos or other identification and likely has no home.
“It could be that the mother was a domestic cat that was not spayed and had a litter of kittens outside, and this kitten is relatively tame because the mother was tame,” she said.
“The arena is not a great home for a cat, so the workers called us a few days ago to come take the cat and find her a natural home. It’s great that these workers looked after the cat, but we encourage people to call us right away in these situations because the sooner we get the cats, the sooner we can take care of any medical issues they have and begin work to find them a home.”
Hamilton said the cat will stay with Cowichan Cat Rescue until it is spayed, and then people looking to adopt the animal can fill out an application form and have a home visit before a final decision is made.
“We don’t think we’ll have much trouble finding a home for this cat because she’s fluffy, adorable and has a sad story,” she said.
“At this time of the year, we encourage people to bang on the hood of their vehicles and/or blow the horn before they start their engines because cats are looking for warm and dry places and they will crawl up into an engine.”
Another cat was rescued this week when transportation workers from the Cowichan Valley school district had to put a school bus on a ramp to find the feline after it was spotted running up the tire of the bus and into the undercarriage.
Hamilton said that cat, called Axle by the mechanic who spent an hour trying to remove the cat from where it was firmly lodged under the bus, is now also under the care of Cowichan Cat Rescue and is being examined by a vet before its adoption process begins.